Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art
Our lasting human desire to rationalize the phenomena of nature manifests as ceaseless attempts to fix fluid landscapes within the rigid boundaries of an image. Each landscape with its own physical language, rooted in the temporal and subjective particularities of sense—taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight—requires a lived immersion to be read and as such, eludes static interpretation or expression. The physical horizon provides both a physical and metaphorical reminder of the limits we constantly find ourselves confronted with—those limits of perception, language, and knowledge—as we seek to expresses the immediate experience and profound vastness of a world far exceeding our human reach.
Acknowledging these limits, yet still longing to move beyond them, the exquisite space of poetics offers a foundation from which we can, at the very least, grasp towards the ineffable. The potential for metaphorically understanding landscapes through the filter of comprehensible human experiences, terms, or qualities allows us to move beyond the boundaries of language and knowledge into what we could imagine—hinting at what we cannot know. Anchoring the physical language of landscapes to ephemeral landscapes of collective human longing, desire, and emotion emphasizes a translation revealing more about human nature than nature itself. Valuing the infinite meditations of a humanly expressed landscape subtly brings to light a more elusive, shifting interior horizon—the invisible boundaries of self. Drawn towards extremes of landscapes and self, we perpetually redefine human boundaries in the blank space of sublime repose, the cavernous echo between immediate experience and the stilled distance of expression.
Program Director's Department
Graduate School of Art
Polich, Whitney, "In Pursuit of Distant Horizons" (2014). Graduate School of Art Theses. ETD 10. https://doi.org/10.7936/K7G15XS9.